Free pizza and motor oil


Although those of us with marketing degrees hate to admit it, but marketing is often common sense. So, when you own a restaurant and someone starts an impromptu car show in front of it what does common sense tell you to do?

1. ignore them?
2. call the police to tell them to get out of your parking lot?
3. feed them some free samples in order to entice future customers?

If you guessed three then you understand the common sense approach to marketing. The problem is that it is easier when I give you three options to choose from.

But as you may have also guessed this comes from a real life example. A pizza place not far from my house has really great pizza. But any night of the week you can walk in and find the place empty. Tonight as I drove home from work and saw their parking lot I was surprised to find out there was an impromptu antique car show. Just a bunch of guys with cars showing them to admirers who drove by.

So with an embarrassment of riches, meaning lots of potential customers, sitting right in their laps what did the pizza place do? Nothing. No one at the pizza place had the initiative to score some new customers with samples of their pizza. Imagine the lost opportunity. Great pizza plus people who can’t believe you were so gracious as to give them free slices equal new customers. Not only that, imagine where the next car show is! Also, imagine what they tell their friends and the people walking around the car show tell their friends.

Opportunities are lost every day. It takes more than chance to be successful. If only companies could seize those opportunities and not let them pass by they could be unbelievably successful. So, the next time opportunity presents itself don’t let fear and too many questions keep you from getting answers.


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